Eight years after the incident, four men sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student, were hanged on Friday March 20 in Tihar prison in New Delhi, India.

Some demonstrators had gathered in the middle of the night in front of the prison establishment to salute this execution. "We are pleased that my daughter has finally received justice after seven years. The animals were hanged," the mother of the victim, Asha Devi, told reporters.

Unprecedented wave of protests

The case, which dates back to December 2012, caused outrage among the Indians, who took to the streets to protest against the insecurity of women. The 23-year-old physiotherapy student was returning from the cinema with her companion when the two boarded a bus, which did not carry other passengers. Assaulted with an iron bar, raped and beaten, she was then thrown naked on the road and left for dead. Her friend was also beaten. The young woman finally died of her injuries on December 29, two weeks after the attack, at a hospital in Singapore where she had been transferred.

Quickly after the incident, six men were arrested. However, one of them, the bus driver who was presented as the driver, was found dead in his cell, a death attributed to suicide by the prison authorities. Among the five other accused, another man, 17 years old at the time of the facts, was sentenced in 2013 to three years in prison, the maximum penalty for minors.

For women's rights defenders, this gang rape helped victims break the silence and sparked debate. But violence against women still regularly occupies the pages of Indian newspapers.

India rarely applies the death penalty and reserves it for emblematic cases, generally of those who have carried out attacks. The last hanging in the country was in 2015.

With AFP and Reuters

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